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Posts Tagged ‘pray for others’

Have you watched a loved one or friend go round and round in circles? You want to help, but they won’t respond. In their anxiousness they keep circling over and over, making the same mistakes and trapped with no way out in sight.

courtesy of Church of the Holy Apostles

courtesy of Church of the Holy Apostles

In the church where I work, there is a meditation garden, called a Garth,  surrounded by a covered breezeway.  My office window looks out onto it. Yesterday, a chimney sweep flew into the breezeway. It circled around and around, flying up to the ceiling and back down over and over. After about three passes, I tried to swing my arms to get it to divert to the left and out into the garden’s open sky. But it just continued on it’s frantic course.  I realized, even  though my efforts were noble and kind, I made things worse.

I worried the thing might die from exhaustion or break a wing as it kept banging against the ceiling looking for freedom from it’s plight. But my presence made it panic even more. My good attempts futile.

Discouraged,  I went back to my desk. And yes, I prayed for the little guy.  Within a few minutes, a juicy bug or perhaps the spring-flower filled breeze coaxed the swift into the garden. It lifted its wings and soared to freedom.

Lesson learned. Sometimes the best we can do is pray and let God coax them out of their circumstances. He knows what will get their attention even when we do not.

And the coolest thing? God made those fragrant flowers or tasty bug long before the swift became trapped.  He knew when they would come in handy to entice the little bird at just the right time. Will he not do even more for those for whom we pray?

For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.     Psalm 48:14

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He was wandering the pet store, peering into the cages, strolling the aisles. He was dirty, tattooed and skinny with disheveled hair and unshaven chin. A  little girl crouched as she watched a white mouse on a wheel. When he stopped near her, I sucked in my breath. She stood up and ran down the aisle to her mom. He turned and went down another aisle. Then he meandered down another, with his hands laced behind his back. No cart, no basket.

Should I notify the clerks? Was he a pedophile, or just a hobo seeking the air-conditioned relief on a hot and humid Texas day?question

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Last Sunday, I stopped for gas on the way back from a workshop 5 hours away. The convenience store was busy – the kind with gas pumps, a fast food restaurant, rows upon rows of food and drink choices, and of course, clean restrooms.  It was a buzzing hive of people dashing in and out.

He sat in a wheel chair with one leg amputated above the knee. His beard was yellowish white and scrawny. He had a big plastic cup of soda.  Someone had given it to him or he had bought it.  Yet he sat with his chin in hs hand, watching everyone else scurrying in and out. I tried to catch his eye to smile, but he looked down and away.  Was he waiting for someone? He looked so despondent. Should I have done more?

As a single woman – do I trust God to protect me as I reach out to minister to these lost men? How would I do that? Do I just walk away and mind my own business like everyone else- how can I do that? These invisible people were no longer invisible to me.

Instead, both times, I got in my car and bowed my head. I prayed for God to send someone to touch their hearts and meet their needs. I prayed for them to believe in Christ and for Him to give them a sense of worth and belonging. I prayed for them to be loved. Was that enough? Did I wimp out of doing God’s will? I wasn’t sure.

They both came to mind this morning. So I prayed again. But I also prayed for myself- and the guilt I felt for not having done something. So many lost and hurting people out there… what can I do about it?

But wait- I did do something. I lifted them up to my Father in Heaven who loves them. It’s a start- a good start.

Who will God place in your path who needs your prayer today?  Will that be enough?

I’d like your comments and thoughts.

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